Hiring a Wedding Planner? Trust the Process

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Martine Claude          Amaris Taylor

Congratulations, you’re engaged! You’ve met the love of your life and decided to make it official. Maybe you already have a busy schedule, and you know planning a wedding will take a lot of time and energy you don’t have. That’s where a wedding planner comes in!

Demure Woman spoke with two Atlanta wedding planners who shared their thoughts on what brides and grooms should expect when hiring a wedding planner or wedding coordinator.

Wedding planners can be real life-savers when it comes to putting together the most anticipated day of your life. Amaris Taylor, owner of Simply Chic Soirées, says that good wedding planners have built relationships with several wedding vendors, and will be able to make recommendations based on your wedding budget and preferences.

“Having a wedding planner is better than Yelp,” she says, because the planner has personal experience using a vendor over and over again. The vendor knows they must give superior service if they want that planner to keep recommending them to their brides and grooms. Since planners spend so much time organizing special occasions for people, they know the trends and price points that couples should be prepared for.

When it comes to having the wedding of your dreams, it’s important to know what you want and be realistic. Wedding planners and coordinators often use the couple’s budget as the foundation of the planning process, so Taylor suggests taking time to consider what you truly can afford to spend for your big day. If you have a particular vision for your wedding, you need to understand that it comes at a cost. Some wedding planners suggest talking with your significant other to create a realistic budget before researching how much various services will cost. This way, you’re more likely to have a truly affordable wedding.

While we’re on the topic, Taylor says that sometimes brides and grooms should proceed with caution when choosing friends or relatives who perform certain services as a side hustle. “You can use your hook-ups, but buyer beware,” she says. It may save you money, in some instances, but if they are not the best person for the job – baker, caterer, DJ, etc. – the wedding could go from fab to drab in 2.5 seconds!

CMartineEvents owner Martine Claude echos the sentiments. She also warns couples that a truly elegant wedding is one that is properly coordinated, and that’s slightly more difficult to accomplish when brides and grooms go outside of the planner’s repertoire. She suggests that couples thoroughly vet each outside vendor, educating themselves on what those vendors expect and provide. After that, it’s important that you sign contracts with those vendors so that they legally acknowledge they will perform the services as both parties have agreed.

Claude began planning weddings more than 15 years ago, and says her biggest joy is watching her brides and grooms see the end results for the first time. “That really motivates me to keep going.” She’s committed to fulfilling the couples’ wishes, and she encourages them to stand firm on what they want. Parents, friends and other relatives can sometimes impose their views on how a couple’s day should look. But Claude says a good planner works with the person who signed the contract.

The bottom line when working with a wedding planner is simple: Be transparent about your desires and stay open to new ideas.

Martine Claude started planning events out of a love for interior decorating. She found herself constantly being the go-to decorator for friends and family, so she eventually hung her shingles. CMartineEvents serves brides and grooms in the Atlanta metro area. You can catch up with her on Instagram.
Amaris Taylor marched her way into the event planning business while serving in the U.S. Army. After venting to her first sergeant about the drafty venue and cold food at her unit's annual family holiday party, he gave her marching orders to plan the event for the following year. That was 2003. She fell in love with the process and planned every Holiday Ball for her unit for the next 14 years, opening Simply Chic Soirées months before retiring. Simply Chic Soirées serves brides and grooms in the Atlanta metro area and beyond. Find out more on Facebook, Instagram and the company's website.


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